New York enacts law requiring businesses to take steps to combat airborne disease

New York enacts law requiring businesses to take steps to combat airborne disease

  • Steve Bittenbender | The Center Square contributor/May 6th, 2021

(The Center Square) – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law that requires workplaces to follow certain standards to prevent the spread of airborne diseases, but only after the he got an agreement from lawmakers to make some “technical changes” to the legislation.

The changes the governor secured to the bill, dubbed the NY Hero Act, included giving the New York State Department of Labor and employers more specific information in crafting and rolling out the guidelines, including a timeline for doing that and allowing businesses to immediately correct violations.

The changes also include restricting lawsuits only to companies that refuse to take corrective action.

“On the basis of this agreement, I am pleased to sign this bill,” Cuomo said in the approval memo.

With Cuomo’s signature, New York becomes the first state in the country to enact a law that requires businesses to follow regulations designed to prevent the spread of airborne infectious diseases, like COVID-19.

photo of people doing handshakes
As office life resumes, rules will be in place to protect workers from airborne diseases. Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

The law also allows workers to form committees to monitor and collaborate with businesses on workplace safety measures.

“As New York moves toward a full re-opening in the weeks ahead, the NY Hero Act will play a key role in protecting essential workers and businesses across the state,” said Maritza Silva-Farrell, executive director for ALIGN, in a statement.

ALIGN worked with more than 70 unions and other organizations to lobby lawmakers on the bill.

In a statement, Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris, D-Queens, said the law serves as a reminder that too many workers sacrificed their health.

Gianaris and Assemblywoman Karines Reyes, D-Bronx, served as sponsors of S.1034-B/A.2681.B. Reyes said her work as a nurse during the onset of the pandemic led her to back the bill.

“It is crucial that workers are able to operate in a safe environment and have the full support of New York State,” she said.

While labor and community groups supported the measure, several business groups had concerns that they felt lawmakers overlooked.

The Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York said in a statement from its executive director that it wanted to see some litigation friendly language stricken from the measure. Still, they welcomed the changes made to it.

“Private rights of action do nothing to protect workers or help business owners and everything to line the pockets of the powerful personal injury trial lawyer lobby,” the alliance wrote. “Business owners should at least be allowed time – a cure period – to remedy violations before they are subjected to costly litigation. We’re encouraged by today’s amendment, which we hope will minimize the damage done and create a layer of protection against predatory and extortionate lawsuits.”

Latest from the Roosevelt Island Daily

Racing the Storm, Roosevelt Island

Racing the Storm, East River, New York City, Fine Art Photography Print

© Deborah Julian. All rights reserved.

mother putting a face mask on her daughter

A huge drop off in COVID cases says New York Governor

Governor Kathy Hochul said on Saturday that week-over-week COVID cases in New York plunged a whopping 47% in the state. by David Stone The Roosevelt Island Daily News “We are turning the corner on the winter surge, but we’re not through this yet,” Governor Hochul said. “Please keep getting vaccinated, getting the booster dose, getting our children…

Keep reading

Have You Walked Carl Schurz Park? A Gem Missed Too Often in New York City

Carl Schurz Park is a quiet green space in Yorkville on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Home to Gracie Mansion, where New York’s mayors live, it rises above Hell Gate, the confluence where tides from Long Island Sound collide with those from the East and Harlem Rivers. It has a rich history, including substituting for Central…

Keep reading

Roosevelt Islanders in need flock to the reopened food pantry

After three weeks closed by holidays and a COVID surge, Roosevelt Island’s reopened food pantry drew a long appreciative line on Main Street. by David Stone The Roosevelt Island Daily News Pre-bagged groceries were lined up a half-hour before Roosevelt Islanders began filing in for pickups. Waiting lines under the shelter of Roosevelt Landings’s covered…

Keep reading

RIOC Gets The First Governor Kathy Hochul Official Cruelty Award

The new Official Cruelty Award, named after Governor Kathy Hochul, goes to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC). Special Mention: President/CEO Shelton J. Haynes. by David Stone The Roosevelt Island Daily News KN95 Disposable Face Masks The Governor Kathy Hochul Official Cruelty Award Official cruelty, directed at the public, comes in many varieties. Sometimes, it’s…

Keep reading
woman holding sign

Omicron/Delta Surge Is Passing. How Is Roosevelt Island Doing?

The percentage of positive COVID test results in New York City dropped fast over the last several days, strongly suggesting the Omicron/Delta surge is passing. Roosevelt Island registers much better than average. by David Stone The Roosevelt Island Daily News As of January 10th, when the city’s positive rate hit a high of 22.1%, Roosevelt…

Keep reading
photo of two old man helping each other

Today from the CBN/RI Senior Center, Zooms for Aging Wiser and Understanding Glaucoma

With the Roosevelt Island Senior Center shut down by the latest COVID surge, the Carter Burden Network (CBN) offers online services to assist the elderly and their caregivers. Two new programs are on tap for today. The Roosevelt Island Daily News Today at 10:00 A.M. Today at 1:30 p.m. More from the Roosevelt Island Daily…

Keep reading

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Share

Written by:

812 Posts

View All Posts
Follow Me :

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: